Earth Day

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  • Topic: Earth Day, Equinox, Equator
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  • Published : May 16, 2013
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Earth Day
Earth Day is an annual holiday, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In 2013 the day is 43 years old. It is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network,[1] and is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year.[2] In 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco, the date proposed was March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. This day of nature's equipoise was later sanctioned in a Proclamation signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work.[3] While this April 23 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.[4][5] Numerous communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues. -------------------------------------------------

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Results of Earth Day 1970
The first Earth Day family had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it "brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform."[6] It now is observed in 192 countries, and coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network, chaired by the first Earth Day 1970 organizer Denis Hayes, according to whom Earth Day is now "the largest secular holiday in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year."[7] Environmental groups have sought to make Earth Day into a day of action which changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.[8] -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Earth Day 1970 in New York City
In the winter of 1969-1970, a group of students met at Columbia University to hear Denis Hayes talk about his plans for Earth Day. Among the group were Fred Kent, Pete Grannis, and Kristin and William Hubbard. This New York group agreed to head up the New York City part of the national movement. Fred Kent took the lead in renting an office and recruiting volunteers. "The big break came when Mayor Lindsay agreed to shut down Fifth Avenue for the event. A giant cheer went up in the office on that day," according to Kristin Hubbard (now Kristin Alexandre). 'From that time on we used Mayor Lindsay's offices and even his staff. I was Speaker Coordinator but had tremendous help from Lindsay staffer Judith Crichton." In addition to shutting down Fifth Avenue, Mayor John Lindsay made Central Park available for Earth Day. The crowd was estimated as more than one million—by far the largest in the nation. Since Manhattan was also the home of NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times, Time, and Newsweek, it provided the best possible anchor for national coverage from their reporters throughout the country.[9] -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Earth Day 1970 in Philadelphia

U.S. Senator Edmund Muskiespeaking to an estimated 40-60,000 at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia on Earth Day, 1970 U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie was the keynote speaker on Earth Day in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Other notable attendees included consumer protection activist and presidential candidate Ralph Nader; Landscape Architect Ian McHarg; Nobel prize-winning Harvard Biochemist, George Wald; U.S. Senate Minority Leader, Hugh Scott; and poet, Allen Ginsberg. Photos, video, and other previously unpublished information are available to the public at EarthWeek1970.org....
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